Chuck leaned against the hallway wall outside Sasha’s apartment. Her cries twisted his heart but Lumin’s strange appearance gnawed at his brain. He had to figure out why he’d been there and what he’d said. And Sasha wasn’t in the least interested in being comforted.
A few minutes later, Chuck was landing softly outside his underground lair. Inside, Beasley had pulled up all known information about Lumin up on Chuck’s computer screens. There was nothing linking him to Sasha nor anything that seemed like a reason for him to see her.
“You know what you have to do now, Chuck.” Beasley stated.
“No, Bease, I don’t, actually.”
Sasha willed herself up off the floor of her apartment. She stumbled to her bathroom and found the tissues. As she dabbed her eyes and tried to get a handle on the events of the past few minutes, she saw a shadow in the mirror.
Sparking up a ball of electricity between her hands, Sasha turned to find Liana, shape-shifting from treacherous smoke to human form.
“Ah, ah, ahhh” Liana ticked her left forefinger back and forth at Sasha. Before she knew it, Liana was pressing a glowing green button on a small black device with her right thumb. An invisible shock wave sent Sasha reeling backwards, losing her electric ball, and her balance. She gripped the counter to keep from sinking to the floor.
“What…was that?” She managed to say.
“Oh, this? You like it? I had it made special just for you. It’s a handy-dandy pocket EMP device that shoots laser-like accuracy. This way I can take you out and still keep all the lights on. Isn’t fabulous?” Liana scrunched her nose and grinned. Then she zapped Sasha again, nearly rendering her unconscious.
Chuck paced outside the gates of Luz Manor. Not all superheroes knew each other’s secret identities but if you wanted a leg up on your opponent, you did your research. And Chuck was certain that this was Lumin’s place. Now, whether or not he wanted to actually walk in and, in a pleasant voice of course, say, “So, whatcha doin’ at Sasha’s place tonight, bro?” was another thing altogether.
Beasley came in over comm.
“Chuck – are you in?”
“No, Beasley. I am very much out.”
“Ok. But you’re going in, right? I mean, soon?”
“Yea, yea. I’m working on it. You just man the camera. I’ll buzz if I need something.”
Chuck squared off against the gate, puffed up his chest and reached for the intercom. What am I doing? He thought. He backed up, bent his knees for power and jumped up into the air. He hovered for a bit, trying to get a feel for the layout of this huge mansion Lumin called home. Or Señor Marco Luz, as he was called during the day. He saw a lighted window go dark and the adjacent window go bright. Someone was there and it was as good a start as any.
Chuck flew towards the house and – BAM! – he slammed against something, slid down it and landed on his back in front of the gate.
“Sorry to bother you, Chuck, but I forgot to mention: Lumin has a sort of "Star Wars"type force field bubble surrounding his property, just beyond the gate. So don’t try to fly in.” said Beasley.
“Yea, thanks.” Chuck muttered. Intercom it is then, he thought. Let’s see if this bastard is brave enough to let me in.